Vacation Memento Shell Bowl




Introduction: Vacation Memento Shell Bowl

About: I am a high school engineering teacher (formerly an engine design engineer) and mother of two little makers who loves developing new projects - both personally and for my children and students to work through.…

Our family recently returned from a trip to the beach where my daughter collected more than her fair share of shells. After my kids both decorated photo frames and made a variety of shell necklaces, there were enough shells left over for me to make a craft of my own.

I have seen interesting Instructables where people use pistachio shells to make a variety of elegant home decor and have always wanted to try this on my own with shells from a trip as a way to keep a memory of that trip alive.

This Instructable walks you through the quick and easy process of creating a cute bowl that will remind you of your trip for years to come.


  • Mixing bowl (or another bowl with a shape you love)
  • Mod Podge (or your other favorite glue)
  • Shells
  • Paintbrush

Step 1: Create the Base

Once you pick out a bowl you want to try to replicate the shape of, begin by picking out one of the larger, heavier shells to use as the base for your bowl. From there, paint the edges of the shell with glue where it will come in contact with another shell and place them around the base shell as shown. Once a complete ring is created around the base, take a moment to add a bit of additional glue where the shells meet to secure the connecting bond. Wait about a half-hour before adding more shells to give the base shape time to set.

Step 2: Build the Structure

Continue building upward in the bowl in rings as shown. If the shells begin to seem unstable, wait another half-hour or so to give the glue time to set before continuing to build up the walls of the bowl.

For this project, I kept all the shells facing outward to give the bowl a floral look.

Optional variation: If you use a base bowl with tall enough walls, this project could also be used for a sconce or other light covering since the light shines through the gaps between the shells beautifully.

Step 3: Remove and Personalize

Wait an hour or so and carefully slide your project out of the bowl. If you have any special shells, feel free to glue them to the inside edges of the bowl for a little extra flare.

Step 4: Enjoy!

And that's it. It's beautiful on a shelf as a stand-alone piece that reminds you of your trip or it can be used as a more traditional bowl as well. I keep mine near my knitting to hold my needles, etc., so they don't roll away.

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    Reply 6 months ago

    Thanks so much!